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NIS Issues Diplomatic, Official Passports To Over 1,000 New Lawmakers, Appointees In Three Months




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Over a thousand newly elected lawmakers and government appointees, including ministers, have been issued passports, the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) has disclosed.

Naija News gathered that the NIS said since switching to the electronic passport issuance system, no fewer than 66,929 official and diplomatic passports have been issued from January 2007 till August 2023.

The NIS Acting Comptroller-General, Caroline Adepoju, told The Punch in an interview, that within the space of about three months since the inauguration of the President Bola Tinubu-led administration, over 1,091 of the travel documents were given to newly-elected and appointed public officials.

She disclosed that under her watch alone, over 337,756 personalised booklets have been issued— both home and abroad—from May 30, 2023, till August 31, 2023.

According to her, more passports are being processed for new public office holders (including the newly-appointed ministers), immigration officers on diplomatic missions, and some military attaché.

The NIS boss explained, “For diplomatic passports, which are issued to diplomats, we have 125 issued now.

“This includes some officials in the presidency, our personnel on diplomatic missions, and some military attaché. So far, we have issued 125 diplomatic passports. For the official, that amounts to 966 passports.”

Speaking further, she noted that “Prior to 2007, passports were issued manually. The electronic passports came into being on January 1, 2007.

“So, to date, I can tell you that the total number of passports that have been issued is 16,361,966. That is the total of all the passports that have been given.

“As for the diplomatic passports, we have 12,470 issued since 2007. And the official, we have issued 54,459 passports.

“We are still calling on Nigerians who applied for passports to go and collect their passports. Nigerians are expected to apply for their passport online; anyone can do it.

“They don’t need agents. The danger is this: when agents apply on people’s behalf, they use fictitious addresses and telephone numbers. Even if we have observations or complaints or there are things the applicants need to correct on their forms, we cannot easily access then.”